Violence against doctors has become a serious issue in India. But problem is a global one to some extent. The underlying basic reason for the omnipresent malaise is the altered doctor-patient equation globally and growing mistrust in the saviours. The mistrust is propagated by opportunist medical industry, media and law industry for their selfish motives as doctors are shown as front men for the failures. Poor outcomes are projected because of medical errors and mistakes. Every death is thought to be because of negligence rather than a natural complication of the disease. Because of the instigation and poor law enforcement in favour of doctors, the response of lay public to these unfortunate incidents has become extremely erratic and out of proportion. As Governments remain more or less indifferent, and doctors have become punching bags for inept health systems. Law industry has been enormously benefited financially due to medico-legal cases against doctors. Media has sold their news items not by good ground work, but by sensationalizing and mischaracterizing the real basic issues, airing one single incident as generalizations. An atmosphere of mistrust has been generated against medical profession. Administrators and Industry have put themselves on higher pedestrian by selectively projecting the genuine failures and mistakes of doctors. Local goons have blackmailed doctors over genuine complications and the natural deaths occurring in hospitals. There is a little token action by police after routine incident of violence against doctors.
Consequently violence (legal, verbal or physical) against doctor has acquired an epidemic proportion, omnipresent world-wide. As a result, medical business has thrived whereas medical profession is suffocated and art of medicine has been dying a slow gradual death.
But in Israel, doctors seem to be united against this menace and their associations are actively pursuing the issue.
Doctors in Israel to Protest Violence against Medics
The strike was called after family members of a patient who died at a Jerusalem hospital on Monday attacked medical staff and caused significant damage to the intensive care unit after they were informed of his death.
The union said the hospitals and clinics would operate on a weekend schedule for 24 hours on Thursday, offering reduced services.
Union calls for attacks on medical staff to be treated as severely as attacks on police; action comes after patient’s relatives ran amok in Jerusalem hospital
Staff at public hospitals and clinics will strike on Thursday to protest violence against medics, the doctor’s union announced Tuesday.
The Israel Medical Association, announcing the strike, called for a police presence in every emergency room, and said hospitals and community clinics needed improved security systems. The association also urged a change in legislation so that an attack on medical staff would be viewed with the same severity as an attack on a uniformed police officer. The chairman of the Israel Medical Association, Prof. Zion Hagay, said that Thursday’s strike would be just the start of action taken by the medical establishment if changes were not made to protect workers.
“We have long announced that we will not accept any more incidents of violence in the health system, and it has unfortunately become a real epidemic,” Hagay said at the start of the association’s meeting on Tuesday evening. “The lives of doctors must not be abandoned, and this initial strike is only a warning.”
“As long as the Israeli government does not immediately take the necessary steps to increase the personal security of medical staff, we will not hesitate to increase it.There has been no announcement from the nurses’ union on whether they will be joining the strike.
The strike comes in the wake of violence at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem after a patient died there on Monday.
An initial investigation found the patient died after taking an overdose, police said, without giving further details.
Relatives of the man arrived at the hospital and were notified of the patient’s death.
After they were given the news, a number of the patient’s relatives broke doors and windows in the unit, damaged the nurse’s station, computers, and equipment, and attacked staff. Two members of staff were lightly injured, requiring medical treatment.
Police said they arrested an East Jerusalem resident in his twenties on suspicion of being involved in the violent clash at the medical center.
Recent months have seen an increased wave of attacks against medical teams and facilities across the country.
In November, nurses at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center held a strike for several hours in protest of a violent incident in which staff members were beaten and threatened by the family of a dying cancer patient.
Earlier the same month Rambam said it had to forcibly remove dozens of people who gathered outside the facility after a victim of violence was brought there for treatment. According to hospital officials, riot police were called to the scene to prevent the crowd from entering the hospital.
And in Beersheba, four people were hurt and 19 were arrested in a massive brawl outside Soroka Medical Center that included gunfire.
In 2017, in one of the most severe cases in recent years, a man burned 55-year-old nurse Tova Kararo to death at the Holon clinic at which she worked.
A doctor and three nurses at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa were assaulted last month by relatives of a cancer patient. Staff were beaten and threatened by the family of the patient, who eventually died, The Times of Israel reported.
Chairwoman of the National Association of Nurses, Ilana Cohen, said at the time that if the government did not take action to fight such violence, “we’ll hold a strike throughout the entire health care system.”
“War has broken out here,” Benny Keller, the head of Rambam’s security, told the Kan public broadcaster Wednesday, according to The Times of Israel.
“Two or three times a week, the hospital turns into a battlefield between warring clans.”